What are the best practices for managing cash flow and working capital in a business?

1. Develop a Cash Flow Forecast: Build a cash flow forecast to predict when cash will be flowing in and out of your business. This will help you ensure you have enough cash on hand to meet your short-term obligations.

2. Keep Track of Invoices: Ensure that you monitor all invoices and receipts using accounting software or an excel sheet. It will help you identify payment delays and follow up with customers who haven’t paid.

3. Evaluate and Prioritize Costs: Review your expenses and categorize them on priority. Consider cutting back on low-priority expenses if cash flow is tight.

4. Negotiate Payment Terms: Try negotiating payment terms with suppliers to improve your cash flow. Consider longer payment terms or installment payment options.

5. Manage Inventory: Keep inventory levels in check and avoid overstocking. This will help reduce inventory carrying costs and free up money for other expenses.

6. Utilize Technology: Utilize technology to automate your financial processes, improve efficiency, and reduce errors.

7. Have a Contingency Plan: Prepare for unexpected expenses by having a contingency plan in place. This may include setting aside a reserve fund or having access to a line of credit.

8. Monitor and Review Cash Flow Regularly: Monitor your actual cash flow against your cash flow forecast regularly. Analyze any variances and adjust your plan accordingly.

9. Leverage Personal Assets: Look into leveraging personal assets such as personal savings or home equity to infuse cash into the business, but only as a last resort.